What's your take on Everest Institute?
October 1, 2010 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Do you have any experience with Everest Institute?

My aunt is looking for a career change and may do a Medical Billing at Everest Institute. They're a sort of technical school with programs in things like Medical Assistant, LPN training, Medical Billing. The program looks good -- it's only eight months long and she'd get some help from financial aide. But when I looked into the school, I saw some poor reviews. I'm wondering if it's as bad as they say or if the dissenters are just particularly vocal. Do you have personal experience (positive or negative) with Everest? If you don't, do you know of another short-term (ie, a year, rather than two or more years) training program for a medical office job? She would prefer something that is not online.
posted by kate blank to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In eight months, anyone can learn to do these things by being trained on the job. If she took the money she would spend on a program like this and instead put it towards living expenses for an internship, I think she could find a medical office willing to show her the ropes.

These schools are complete rackets.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

She should check out programs at her local community or technical college before she considers a for-profit institution. The public colleges will have a better handle on local work availability and will be way cheaper.
posted by mareli at 7:38 AM on October 1, 2010

Everest is not only for-profit, they're nationally accredited -- which, contrary to what you might think, is not what you're looking for in a school. I actually wrote a comment about this the other day, which you might find helpful.

There are plenty of brick-and-mortar, non-profit schools with long, reputable histories offering short-term, mostly-online programs -- not to mention the day, night and online classes offered by her local community college, which costs waaaaaaay less than anything else (because, hey, she's probably funding it with her taxes!).

And yes, with few exceptions she can learn these things on the job, though I know that can be hard to get into with little experience. Has she been to her local job center or temp agency, maybe just to talk to them about what she might need?
posted by Madamina at 7:46 AM on October 1, 2010

Exactly what mareli said: Community colleges are centers for exactly this type of learning (as well as for core requirements needed for transfer to four-year schools); most CCs--at least in my part of the country--offer both two-year associate's degree programs and shorter-term certificate programs. They all have career centers, with substantial human and informational resources devoted specifically to helping new grads find jobs. The cost, by any measure, is an absolute bargain.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 7:52 AM on October 1, 2010

Do not do this. I worked at a for-profit school and they are not worth anything. If she decides to go on to further education she will have completely wasted her money because the credits are unlikely to transfer. Community college all the way.
posted by desjardins at 7:52 AM on October 1, 2010

One more thought: I have had opportunity to look at many resumes and CVs in my life, and have made or contributed to many hiring decisions. If you're concerned about some kind of "prestige" element, you should know that to me, and a lot of other hiring managers, (a) the prestige factor of a for-profit institution is exactly zero, whereas (b) having gone to a community college demonstrates good financial sense and in that sense is an active plus.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 8:04 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful replies! My aunt actually worked in a medical office for many years but recently moved and is now looking for a new job. She was a bit concerned about being able to get a job based on her previous experience alone. You all made great points to the contrary and we've already started checking out job boards and her local community colleges.
posted by kate blank at 8:17 AM on October 1, 2010

Mechanical Turk offers $.25 per comment on various for-profit schools- get reviews anywhere BUT the school's homepage.
posted by variella at 11:43 AM on October 1, 2010

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